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Wednesday November 22, 2017
Silvio Dalla Torre
The Bassetto in History My Bassetto Bassetto Practice - Use / Literature - Playing Technique - Methods / Tutors - FAQs

Methods / Tutors

The bad news: there is not a single bassetto tutor!
The good news: you don´t need one!

Why not? Because the bassetto, with its fifths tuning and notation mainly in the tenor clef, can be read and stopped practically the same as a violoncello. So for cellists, the change is comparable to that between violin and viola as far as the method of stopping is concerned. But in terms of reading, they have no problems at all: for example, where a bottom C is read in the bass clef, indicating the note of the lowest string of the cello, this corresponds to the contra G in the tenor clef, the lowest string of the bassetto. This means that cello tutors and études can be used as practice material. I like to use the well-known "Violoncello-Etüden-Schule" by Joseph Sakom, who brings together in it little music-making examples in increasing degree of difficulty by Romberg, Duport, Davidoff, Kummer and other important cellists.

Nevertheless, I am planning to publish a bassetto tutor. This is principally intended to provide assistance for all interested double bass players. For them the change-
over is much more difficult, because almost none of the notes are still in the accustomed place. From this point of view, the bassetto is almost as difficult to learn as a new instrument. But that should not put anybody off, because – it´s worth it!